A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Art Connects Us, Volume 12

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), our community has responded to the current moment as true citizen artists.

Their work demonstrates a belief in our interconnectedness as people and our shared responsibility to make positive change. We know headlines may be overwhelming these days, so below you’ll find good news highlighting the incredible efforts of SAIC’s artists and designers to forge and deepen connections with our communities.

We hope it inspires you for the week ahead.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 10
Volume 11

Photo of Sanford Biggers
Photo courtesy of Gioncarlo Valentine for The New York Times

Alum Sanford Biggers Disrupts and Deciphers Quilted Heirlooms
The New York Times visited alum Sanford Biggers’s (MFA 1999) studio to discuss how his pieces reimagining antique quilts shed light on the Black experience, American violence, Buddhism, and art history. His first works were inspired by a theory about the role of quilts in the Underground Railroad, and featured locations of historical safe houses depicted like stars on a constellation. read more

Image courtesy of Whitney Bradshaw

Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm’s Chicago Legacy
For nearly two decades, Julie Rodrigues Widholm’s (MA 1999) laser focus on elevating artists whose work is often underrepresented in museums helped to shape Chicago’s contemporary art community. As a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and director and chief curator of the DePaul Art Museum (DPAM), she exhibited a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, showcasing countless women, LGBTQ, and BIPOC artists. read more

Photo of LaToya Ruby Frazier
Associate Professor LaToya Ruby Frazier. Photo courtesy of Ryan Lash/TED.

Associate Professor LaToya Ruby Frazier Examines the Human Cost of Toxic Water
In 2016, Associate Professor of Photography LaToya Ruby Frazier was commissioned to produce a photo essay about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where she spent several years documenting the life of a Black working-class family living with toxic water. The visual artist recently spoke about her experience on NPR’s TED Radio Hour. read more

"First Rain in May," painting by Angel Otero
Angel Otero, "First Rain In May" (2020), oil paint and fabric collaged on canvas, 72 x 96 x 2 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

Alum Angel Otero’s Home-Inspired Paintings Profiled by Hyperallergic
While isolated in a house in upstate New York during quarantine, alum Angel Otero (BFA 2007, MFA 2009) completed a series of paintings inspired by his home in Puerto Rico. This month, his work is featured in Life During Wartime: Art in the Age of Coronavirus, a virtual exhibition for the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. “I felt that I wanted to open a door and return home, in a metaphorical sense,” Otero said. read more